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Qaumajuq: New Inuit art centre opens at the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Global News

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Qaumajuq, an art centre showcasing the world’s largest collection of Inuit art, officially opened at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Thursday.

The Inuit art centre adds another 40,000 square feet to the WAG, making it the fifth-largest art museum in Canada.

“The WAG has this extraordinary collection of Inuit art, close to 14,000 objects (and) another 8,000 on long-term loan,” Winnipeg Art Gallery director and CEO Stephen Borys said, also noting that the WAG has been collecting Inuit art for 70 years.


A visible vault of Inuit art inside Qaumajuq at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.


Credit / Lindsay Reid

“We’ve exhibited and published more than any museum in the world, but we’ve never been able to kind of share more than probably one per cent of the collection at any time.”

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Borys says Qaumajuq not only showcases Inuit art and exhibits, but also provides space for research and education and bridges Canada’s north and south.

“What we can do in the south I think raises the profile of Inuit art,” he said. “(And makes us) a better partner and it gives us a chance to create opportunities for training, apprenticeships, internships for students with artists, and it just gives us a chance to do more with education.”

Read more:
Winnipeg Art Gallery to project Inuit art on exterior walls in lead-up to Qaumajuq opening

INUA, the inaugural exhibit of the new Inuit art centre, had a virtual opening Thursday and Friday. The exhibit is available to the public for free from March 27 to April 2 with timed tickets.

The exhibit features the work of nearly 90 Inuit artists from northern Canada, as well as a few living in the south.


The artists

Tuktoyuktuk, N.W.T., artist Maureen Gruben is one of the artists featured at INUA.

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“My inspiration mostly comes from my environment that I grew up with, here in the Arctic on the shores of the Beaufort Sea,” she said. “So I do a lot of collecting of raw materials such as bone and fur and just different raw materials that I find around here and then incorporate industrial materials with the raw materials.”


Tuktoyuktuk artist Maureen Gruben collects fur, bones and other raw materials from the Arctic, often incorporating them with industrial elements.


Courtesy / Maureen Gruben


Tuktoyuktuk artist Maureen Gruben working with a polar bear hide.


Courtesy / Maureen Gruben

Gruben, who still lives in Tuktoyuktuk, says her passion for art started from a necessity to sew.

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“Part of growing up as a woman was learning how to sew, so making your own parkas, mitts, mukluks, hats, that sort of thing,” Gruben told Global News. “I think that’s where it starts for many Inuit people is the necessity of having to sew, and from there it just progressed into different types of art. So now I’m sewing ice and that sort of thing.”

Read more:
WAG open again, gearing up for Inuit Art Centre grand opening

Many of her pieces are engrained with a powerful message relating to preserving the environment, climate change or speaking for the polar bears.

“(My ideas) just come through me, I kind of just feel like I’m the conduit and words just come through me,” Gruben said. “So it’s such an honour when people recognize your work. Especially when you can raise awareness and be an activist for your own environment, that’s what I’m really proud of.”

Gruben’s piece Waiting for the Shaman is featured at INUA. The piece is made from polar bear bone paws Gruben has been collecting.


Maureen Gruben’s piece Waiting for the Shaman is featured at INUA, the inaugural exhibit of Qaumajuq.


Courtesy / Maureen Gruben

“They just kind of formed themselves, and I tried many ways of how to put them together, and they just formed a circular (shape), like that’s the shape that they wanted to be in,” Gruben said.

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Gruben says Qaumajuq is a profound place to showcase Inuit art.

“I think they did a beautiful job,” she said. “I think we’re blessed to have a centre like this where we can showcase our work and celebrate our ancestral talents.”

Happy Valley-Goose Bay artist Shirley Moorhouse has two wall hangings as part of INUA.


Click to play video: 'Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery'



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Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery


Checking in with the Winnipeg Art Gallery – Jan 8, 2021

“I’m so glad and honoured to be part of this exhibition, it was one of my dreams to having one of my work shown in the old Winnipeg Art Gallery,” Moorhouse said. “So I’ve been working towards this goal, this dream for about 25 years.”

Moorhouse uses a variety of materials in her artwork — everything from caribou skin, glacial rocks, traditional beading, and sometimes even electronics.

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She says she has one traditional wall hanging at INUA and one contemporary one. Both have powerful messages of her own personal experiences, Indigenous culture, and the environment.

“I’m blessed to make it aesthetically beautiful, but I always try to have a conversation somehow.”


Click to play video: 'WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre'



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WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre


WAG hosts joint fundraiser for the Inuit Art Centre – Apr 16, 2019

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Art exhibits return to Callander’s Alex Dufresne gallery – BayToday.ca

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After a long hiatus, art shows are returning to the Alex Dufresne Gallery at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum this Saturday.

The works of Carole Davidson and Sara Carlin-Ball are highlighted in an exhibit entitled “Journeys to a Conversation with Nature.”

In a release promoting the show, Davidson and Carlin-Ball explain the “works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.”

Their goal in selecting the pieces for the exhibit is to capture “the luscious spectacular that is Nature, Muse, Essence,” and emphasize how these “inspire the audience to revision their place – their gratitude and responsibility – on this Earth.”

See: Callander museum reopens from COVID with new art show

“It feels absolutely wonderful to have art back on the walls,” said Natasha Wiatr, the gallery’s curator.   

The last show was this past April but did not last long before Covid regulations closed the event. Since then, “the walls have been empty.”

“We haven’t consistently had shows in what feels like so long,” she said, and is pleased to launch what will hopefully be a long stretch of exhibits.

Currently, the gallery is booked until 2023, “and we’ve added two more shows per year,” Wiatr explained.

“We see ourselves as a community-based gallery,” she said, and as such, strive to present as many local artists as possible.

See: White Water Gallery has a new executive director

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The gallery can hold 14 people at once, and walk-ins are welcome. Appointments can also be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery.

Staff remind to you please wear a mask when you visit and maintain social distance.

Admission to the museum is $5 for seniors and students, $4.50 for kids 6-12, free for children under 6 and adults pay $5.50. Family rate for 4 is $15. Entrance to the gallery is by donation.

See: Mattawa museum celebrates reopening with Community exhibit

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Callander museum reopens with art show – The North Bay Nugget

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The art show Journeys to a Conversation with Nature will reopen the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery Saturday.

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The works of Carole Davidson and Sarah Carlin-Ball will remain on display to Aug. 20.

“There is an essential longing for life that erupts in a luscious spectacular that we call Nature,” the artists said in a statement.

“The human animal is a part of this longing for life that some might call a Muse – a Muse for artists of every passion and discipline. Artists are at the mercy of their muse and transcribe whatever is whispered to them about life, people, and the compelling natural environment they belong to.

“One may be a studied artist haphazardly trained while another may be an experimental soul, interpreting the ever-changing environment around her.”

Influenced by the gifts of their lives and the natural offerings around them, each artist interprets what touches her soul. Each piece of art tells a portion of her journey, calling to the viewer to look more closely at what life has to teach us.

Carlin-Ball’s muse slumbered as she was raising her children and working. As soon as she could make time, there was an explosion of experimentation driven by her mantra ‘What would happen if…?’

Mistakes happily romped with successes. Now, her careful, unique presentations interpret life and nature, and challenge one’s imagination.

As she learned of the melting of the muskeg and the possibility that Canada will soon lose that habitat and vibrant spring bloom, Carlin-Bell felt the compulsion to replicate that vital image with unexpected media: patinated and fired copper was punched and threaded through with fibre knotted to create the blooms and surface stems.

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Eventually, the vibrant muskeg spring emerged.

One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo
One of Carole Davidson’s pieces of art which will be on display at the Callander Museum and Alex Dufresne Gallery until Aug. 20Submitted Photo

For Davidson, nature was a refuge she quietly celebrated with natural and cultivated talent for art and writing. A busy and brief career in graphic design took over until disabling MS symptoms forced (or allowed) her to slow down.

She began a meditation practice to cope with symptoms and immediately began painting again.

Her creative work parallels her spiritual path and the subjects of her study get smaller and smaller as she has the opportunity to stop and notice. She finds joy in a yellow spider on a sunflower or a nest full of baby robins.

Together, their works display a felt presence of our natural environment in unexpected materials and surprising subjects.

The Museum and Art Gallery are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be booked ahead of time at www.mycallander.ca/gallery and the museum and gallery also welcome same-day walk-ins.

Those visiting are asked to wear a mask and social distance.

The museum and art gallery are located at 107 Lansdowne St. E., Callander.

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Greenpoint This Week: Art Fair, Staycations and More – greenpointers.com

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Happy Weekend Greenpoint!

This weekend, The Other Art Fair is back in town, with affordable artworks ready for your post-quarantine redecorating plans.

If you’re eager to get out, plan a staycation in the neighborhood, for a change of scenery, without a sink full of dirty dishes. If you prefer your own pillows, consider just spending a day at one of our local outdoor pools. The newly opened Le Doggie Cool also has open cafe hours this Saturday, for pups to play in their backyard pool.

This week, we reported that Brooklyn Bowl is reopening in early September! Get your tickets now for upcoming parties and shows. If you’re looking for a free event, Friday night brings a screening of Frozen to Transmitter Park.

We also reported that a new community fridge has opened on Greenpoint Ave. near Transmitter Park. And shared some unfortunate news about a Greenpoint resident arrested for recording his female roommates without their consent.

Make sure to fit in your last visit to the Leonard Library before it closes for renovations on Monday, August 2. Worry not – Greenpoint Library is still up and running, with computer service and open seating also now available.

Don’t forget to check out our summer 2021 fashion sundae roundup for this season’s best local looks.

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